Controversial plans to build scores of homes in Sheffield’s green belt have been recommended for approval.
If the proposals are given the go-ahead by councillors next week, 88 properties will be put up on the site of the former Dyson Refractories ceramics factory on Stopes Road, Stannington.
Because the land has already been built on, some form of replacement can be accepted in principle - but the £10 million scheme is fiercely opposed by protesters.
A petition with more than 300 signatures was handed in at Sheffield Town Hall, and there were over 70 individual representations to the city council.
But in a report to a planning committee meeting on Tuesday, officers said that, on balance, they had found in the scheme’s favour.
“The development will deliver a high-quality residential environment, utilising natural materials for the majority of the properties,” said the report.
Officers said the designs were ‘appropriate to the overall setting’ and that ‘useable and well-designed open space’ would ‘complement’ the houses.
“The proposal will see the development of a brownfield site within the green belt,” they added. “The site is derelict, and could not reasonably be considered as making a positive contribution to the green belt.”
But they also said: “The site is not within a sustainable location, and there is likely to be a greater car dependency than one would prefer.”
Developer Ben Bailey Homes has ‘enhanced the sustainability credentials’ of the project, which is ‘considered to weigh positively’ in its favour.
“The imposition of appropriate conditions will ensure the development is satisfactory,” officers said.
The plans were originally lodged in January. There was a second round of consultation after Ben Bailey Homes amended the designs.
Officers said: “The general consensus was that the changes proposed were limited and did not address the fundamental issues.”
The Campaign to Protect Rural England is urging people to attend Tuesday’s meeting to air their views.
Andrew Wood, the organisation’s planning officer, said: “This scheme breaches the whole principle of what the green belt is there to do.”